What Is The Coronavirus & Should You Should Be Worried?
Short Link: http://www.jsmtech.org/coronavirus
Read Time: 6 min
Death. Sickness. Lifelessness everywhere. That’s all you can think about ever since the virus took over the entire world. It started in a small district in China – the spreading was so limited at first that no one was worried. They were wrong. The contraction rates started to rise exponentially and the effects started to snowball until the entire world got a glimpse of this tiny little virus king. Businesses and schools shut down. Hospitals overwhelmed. Famine and hunger were everywhere. You couldn’t escape this tiny little virus who made the human population its slave.
“The coronavirus.” Just a week or two ago the name suddenly popped up on your news feed. Now, we hear it several times a day. But what exactly is it, where did it come from, and should we really be worried about this outbreak?
What Is A Coronavirus?
You might be wondering what the coronavirus is, but that’s actually the wrong question. The right question would be “what is a coronavirus?” In actuality, there isn’t one… there seven know types. Coronaviruses get their name from the Latin word, “Corona,” which just means crown. We named them after this word because on the surface of each virus are crown-like spikes. But basically, coronavirus are just a group of viruses that cause runny noses, coughs, sore throats, and fevers. Something interesting is that the harmless common colds we get each (or several times a) year are one type of coronavirus.
So we’ve obviously had coronavirus for some time now. Why all the hype about the latest outbreak in China then? That’s a really good question and I’ll try my best to answer it before this post is over. But before we go there, let’s talk a little more about this new strain in China. Its official name is “2019-nCoV,” but I will continue to use the “coronavirus” to refer to the latest strain in China because I’m sure that none of us are scientists here ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Background: Where Did It Come From?
(Disclaimer: These are my views as a Christian and creationist and not an evolutionist.)
Where did this virus come from though? Did it suddenly get created? Well, an interesting fact is that viruses are actually never created. They just slightly evolve to evade human immune system detection using all the material God originally created them with. Interestingly enough, coronaviruses are zoonotic – meaning that they spread from animals to humans. The most common reserve pool is bats (which were also responsible for Ebola, MERS, SARS, and lots of other diseases). The virus can fall back on bats until they have mutated enough to travel back to humans. Experts believe that the Chinese coronavirus originated in the wet markets of Wuhan (the district in which the virus was first reported). Given the close proximity of all parties, such markets make it easy for the coronavirus to make a switch from animals to humans.
Should We Be Worried?
If you thought that the gruesome introduction of this post came right out of a science fiction movie… then your completely right. It is highly unlikely that the coronavirus will ever be able to spread enough to take over the entire planet. But there are several reasons why you shouldn’t be worried.
Not surprisingly, the coronavirus is not worldwide – it’s only mainly contained in China with only 5 cases in the US and a few cases scattered here and there in other countries.
We’ve Seen Coronavirus Outbreaks Before
Some coronavirus can be very dangerous. For example, there are two other main high-profile coronaviruses: MERS and SARS. According to WebMD, MERS first appeared in 2012 and ended up killing around 858 people in the middle east. in 2003, 774 people died from SARS. But the thing is, we’ve seen the impacts of these viruses before. There’s really no need to be worried about a bigger outbreak than these other two coronaviruses.
More People Die In Bathtubs Every Year
As it turns out, more people die in bathtubs per year than all the deaths combined from the Chinese coronavirus. The Seattle Pi cited a Scripps Howard News Service study that put the death tools to around 1,676 over five years or an average of 335 a year. So far, only 140 have died from the corona.
The Flu Is Ten Times Worse
Okay, sure, the last point might sound weak to you. You’re probably just thinking, “So what if we’ve seen it before, about 1000 people are going to die – maybe even more.” But to put the coronaviruses impacts into perspective, let’s look none other than the flu. NBC News reported Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, to say that "our influenza problem is large . . . . Our coronavirus problem — very small and so far contained." In the same article, NBC quoted some statistics from the CDC saying that there are 5 million flu cases, 140,000 hospitalizations, and 8,200 flu deaths this flu season. The flu has then killed about 58.6 times more people this flu season than the latest coronavirus’ meager 140 and roughly 8.2 more than MERS and SARS (if you round their death tolls up to 1000).
The coronavirus isn’t as dangerous as the flu is, so therefore, I would not be worried about it. But don’t get me wrong – this virus, as any is, is terrible for the people who contract it. It caused the shutdown of certain factors in China (including an Apple parts manufacture) and will probably impact the world both economically and socially. However, it’s the same as other major viruses that humans have had for as long as we’ve existed, so it shouldn’t be something we should be worried about more than other forms of sickness.
How About You?
I could continue to write about several more reasons why you shouldn’t be worried about the coronavirus, but that wouldn’t necessarily convince you if you’re skeptical. But whether you’re skeptical or not, I would really be interested to hear what your thought on the matter is. Are you worried or not worried? Should we care more about this virus than others for certain reasons? Were you interested in the origins of the coronavirus? Regardless, I’d love to and am looking forward to hearing from you!